Vanilla pods are obtained from the orchid plant or Vanilla Planifolia, a native of Mexico, and cultivated by the indigenous people of the country. Vanilla was earlier popular as a flavoring agent in the cocoa drink. Vanilla was brought to Europe by the conquering Spanish. It was only available to the rich for use in their foods for fragrance. The vanilla pod matures on the vine for nine months before harvesting. In India, vanilla is often grown in the coffee plantations of Coorg.
Vanilla Extract/ Essence
The vanilla plant is an herbaceous climbing vine that needs a supporting tree or pole to grow. It bears trumpet-shaped naturally pollinated flowers. Unripe vanilla pods turn yellow when they grow around 7 inches and are ready to harvest. The flowers are blanched in boiling water and sun-dried for a few weeks until they turn dark brown and wrinkled. Vanillin, the white crystalline essence is extracted from the superior quality beans. The essence is known as the vanilla flavor.
Vanilla Essential Oil
The vanilla essential oil, which is used in beauty products, is made from fermented vanilla beans. The vanilla flavor is first extracted from the beans with alcohol to get the vanilla extract. This extract is blended with a carrier oil such as Jojoba to create vanilla essential oil which is used in beauty products.
Adding Vanilla in Beauty Regime
- Vanilla for Skin
- To Fight Acne
Vanilla is white in color when added to beauty potions. The drops of vanilla essential oil added to body lotion or shampoo are beneficial to skin and hair. Vanilla heals acne by drying it out instantly and preventing bacterial growth. Apply vanilla essential oil directly on the affected area. Leave it overnight and wash off with cold water in the morning. It has antiviral property. Hence, it deep cleanses the skin and unclogs the pores. Hence, preventing the occurrence of acne and pimples. If you are plagued with acne flare-ups, try a vanilla-infused anti-acne product. The vanillin in the extract is known to have antibacterial and antioxidant properties that prevent breakouts, soothe redness, and irritation.
- To Smooth Out Wrinkles
Vanilla is rich in antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and reverse skin damage. It helps to slow down signs of aging including fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. It not only rejuvenates your skin but also smells lovely. Blend a few drops of vanilla essential oil with Argan oil or Jojoba oil. Massage into cleansed skin every night to repair and restore skin. Use it regularly for soft, supple, and radiant skin.
- Brighten Dull and Tired Skin
Vanilla is loaded with B-vitamins which are important for maintaining healthy, radiant, and dewy soft skin. The antioxidants in vanilla extract help to protect skin from damage caused by environmental pollutants and toxins.
- To Soothe Skin:
Vanilla helps to soothe skin irritations and inflammations. Due to the fantastic aroma, it often soothes the mind and also de-stresses the skin. The topical application of vanilla essential oil successfully helps in improving the skin texture.
- To Prevent Premature Signs of Ageing:
Vanilla essential oil prevents premature aging by delaying the occurrence of wrinkles and fine lines. Vanilla is the core ingredient in several anti-aging products. It is widely used in cosmetics for fragrance and anti-aging benefits. Raw vanilla beans infused with organic oils impart a rich fragrance. It also makes the skin soft, smooth, and supple.
To Treat Under Eye Circles:
The antioxidants found in vanilla extract is equal to the number of antioxidants present in other fruits and green veggies. The topical application of vanilla essential oil under the eye can help to rejuvenate skin and treat the dark circles.
- To Treat Dry Skin:
The presence of antioxidants and Vitamin B6 in vanilla makes it an excellent remedy for treating dull and dry skin. Regular use of vanilla essential oil helps to protect the skin from several environmental factors and keeps it moisturized for a long period of time. The regular application of vanilla essential oil before going to bed helps to treat the dry skin by keeping the skin hydrated and moist. Vanilla extract also heals dry under-eye skin.
- To Soothe Sunburn:
Vanilla extract helps to heal sunburnt skin. It also speeds up the healing process and prevents the skin from getting damaged. Apply the vanilla extract to the damaged areas. Vanilla extract helps in treating the wounds caused by harmful UV rays.
- Promotes Healthy Skin:
Vanilla is a rich source of B-vitamins like niacin, thiamin, Vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid which are crucial in the maintenance of healthy skin. The antioxidant properties of vanilla protect skin from environmental pollutants, chemicals, and toxins. Prepare a Vanilla scrub to revive the skin from within. Slice open 3 vanilla beans to scrape out its seeds. Add a tablespoon of Brown sugar and 2 drops of Vanilla essential oil to a few drops of lemon juice. Combine all the ingredients and apply on the face. Massage for a few minutes and rinse off with warm water followed by cold water.
- Vanilla for Hair
- To Treat Dry Hair
The soothing property of Vanilla helps to balance the scalp. It also softens dry and rough hair. It helps to curb hair breakage and roughness. Add 15 drops of Vanilla essential oil to a cup of coconut milk. Apply it on your hair and scalp for 10 minutes. Wash off with a mild shampoo and see your hair shine with health. Vanilla effectively soothes itchy scalp.
- To Treat Dehydrated Scalp:
Vanilla extract is beneficial in treating the dull and dehydrated scalp. Combine jojoba oil or coconut oil and 2-5 drops of vanilla essential oil. Massage it onto the scalp. Wash it off with cold water. Repeat it twice a day to see visible results.
- For Silky Hair:
Vanilla when mixed with other ingredients such as castor oil, almond oil, and jojoba oil can make your hair silky, shiny, and smooth.
- For Hair Growth:
Carrier oils (such as virgin olive, jojoba, almond, or coconut oil) and essential oils (Lavender oil) help in promoting hair growth when combined with vanilla essential oil for hot oil treatment. The quantity of oil depends upon the texture of the hair. It will make your hair softer, fuller, and shinier besides imparting an amazing scent.